Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Romans 12:2-7
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 12:2
In verse one Paul urged us to fully surrender to God, but surrender by itself isn’t enough. We must also change the way we think. If believers continue guiding their lives by the values, perspectives and attitudes taught them by their surrounding culture, and if they continue listening to the “mind of the flesh”, they will not be able to recognize God’s will. So now in verses two through eight Paul shows us how to discover and fulfill our call to serve God. v2: He warns us not to be ‘shaped’ (fit into an outline, design, plan) by ‘this age’ (this dying era which includes our flesh and the surrounding culture) but be raised to a higher form of decision-making by allowing the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to repeatedly renew our ‘mind’ (the heart-mind where wisdom and foolishness reside).

Monday: Romans 12:2
v2 (continued): Earlier in this letter Paul distinguished between two minds (Ro 8:6, 7): The “mind of the flesh” which is natural human reasoning, unsubmitted to God’s Law, and the “mind of the Spirit” which is the revelation given by the Spirit. In effect, he tells believers, “If you listen with the mind of the Spirit rather than the mind of the flesh you will discern (‘test’ in the sense of watching something carefully to evaluate genuineness) the true will of God in a matter. He will reveal to you what is good (which path will produce the best results); well-pleasing (which path pleases God and will therefore be supported throughout by His Spirit [note: Ro 8:8, “cannot please God”]); and perfect (which path leads into His full will, so that you accomplish everything He wants you to do, not just part of it).”

Tuesday: Romans 12:3
v3: Paul uses the phrase, “through the grace given to me” to identify his call as an apostle. Here and elsewhere in his letters he attributes this call to grace (Ro 15:15, 16; Gal 2:8, 9; Eph 3:2, 7, 8). He was profoundly aware that he was a sinner and did not deserve the privilege of being used by God, and also that he was not capable of doing what was needed in his own strength. So in his mind, to be ‘called’ means a person must be given an ongoing gift of grace. Apart from Christ’s constant cleansing we are unworthy to be used in His service (1Ti 1:12-16; 1Co 15:9, 10), and apart from the constant partnership of the Holy Spirit we are powerless to accomplish God’s will (2Co 9:8; 12:9; Eph 4:7; 2Thess 1:11, 12).

Wednesday: Romans 12:3
v3 (continued): Paul says, “As your apostle I’m telling you don’t set up a hierarchical system in your mind so that you become proud and look down on others. Don’t let pride cloud your thinking like alcohol blurs the mind of someone who’s drunk, but let God give you a healthy, sober mind to see yourself and others the way God sees you.” Then, having said this, over the next few verses (vs4-8) he presents us with several foundational principles meant to show us how a healthy mind thinks. First, we must recognize that God gives a gift of faith to every believer, and that one person doesn’t start out with more than another. To each is “divided a measure (metron) of faith.” He’s talking about the faith that comes when a person hears God call. Immediately that person knows they are called and that God is committed to work with and through them as they fulfill their call.

Thursday: Romans 12:4, 5
v4: Next, so we will have a proper understanding of the nature of the Church, Paul reminds us of the structure of the human body. His point is that God designed the Church to function like our body which is made up of a wide variety of different parts, many of which perform different actions. Yet, each is necessary and makes its own unique contribution. v5: Paul wants us to see that God intends the Church to function as a collective entity, a ‘team’, a ‘body’, not as isolated individuals or a hierarchy where some are considered more important than others. He wants us to gratefully embrace the many different callings God gives to our spiritual brothers and sisters.

Friday: Romans 12:6
v6: In verse three Paul referred to his own calling as “the grace given to me,” now speaking on behalf of us all, he describes our various callings as “gifts (charismata) which differ according to the grace given to us”. Like Paul each of us has been called to serve so we too have been given grace. God decides what each of us is called to do, but it is our responsibility to function in that calling with greater and greater faith. So, Paul admonishes us to maximize our calling, and to illustrate how to do this he lists several areas of calling and shows us how growing faith transforms each.

Saturday: Romans 12:6, 7
vs6-7: Beginning with prophecy, he says a person called to prophesy should do so “according to the full extent (analogia) of his faith”. The verbal form of this word can be literally translated, “to reckon upward, or to calculate fully”. The basic idea is to think expansively. A person who steps out in obedience to prophesy can expect to see the scope and depth of their prophetic abilities grow. This is a familiar pattern. Believers find that each step of obedience we take is followed by a new and larger challenge which requires even more faith. In this way, consistent obedience moves us toward the full dimension of what God has made possible for us. And this same process applies to every type of calling as can be seen from the sample list Paul provides. A person called to prophesy will develop greater capacity to hear and see God’s revelations. A person called to service will lead and administrate more extensive ministries (Ac 6:1-7; Mt 25:21; Lk 16:10). A person called to teach will grow in their depth of insight and communication skills. 

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